(I had a strategy blog entry I wanted to write, but I'm putting it off because I had to talk about Vegas.)
So I got to Las Vegas two nights ago. Last year I stayed in a hotel for the duration of the series. I did not want to make the same mistake again, so I rented a house out in Henderson with about five other poker players (I say "about" because it'll be six of us for a couple more weeks, then some houses get shuffled and it drops to five.) I also hired a friend of mine to act as a personal assistant for me and my house, keeping my financial affairs in order and cooking and cleaning and doing anything else that needs doing. We're quite the motley crew but it's working out great.
I played two smaller events yesterday-- the afternoon 1k at the Bellagio and (after I busted with little fanfare in the second level) the 1k 2nd chance at the WSOP. The tournament is relatively shallow and structured quickly, but I feel like EI adjust to those structures well, and with only 76 runners, I had a reasonable chance to pick up $26k or so to put me in to the black. Unfortunately, I busted on an extremely standard hand when I moved in UTG for 5k at 200/400/50 with JJ. The big blind immediately called and I knew I was in trouble; he tabled QQ and it held.
I was only playing these smaller tournaments because I didn't want to enter the WSOP event that day, because I was saving myself for one of my must-play events: Today's $1500 6-max NLHE. As you probably know by now if you're read this, last year I turned $52 into two "Bracelet race" wins on Full Tilt, picking up $3000 in WSOP tournament chips. I used $2500 to buy into a 6-max NLHE event last year-- my first ever-- and finished in second for ~$238,000. For that, and a number of other reasons that have to do with my playing style (and with it being easier to read five people than eight or nine), shorthanded play has always been my bread and butter. So it was time to try to catch lightning in a bottle again.
I got off to a pretty good start. I was flopping big-- calling with 52s from the BB after a button raise and SB call and flopping A22. In hindsight I wish I'd led, because I think I get a lot of money in vs. a good ace anyway, but at the time I decided to check-raise. The button bet 225 and the SB made it 500; now I'm in a spot where I think I can't help but give away my hand. I made it 1200; the button quickly folds and the small blind chatters for a few seconds before folding. I wonder if I can just call there and get more later (they're live players; they're not immediately putting me on a deuce). Whatever; I won a pot that added about 30% to my stack, so I'm happy.
Other big pot I played was where I let a guy who was playing pretty LAG-- and probably bluffing too much-- bluff off 2k or so into me. I raised JTcc to 150 at 25/50 from the CO and he called from the SB. The flop was TT8 and I bet 175 (because he's calling or making a move a ton on me), and he called. Turn was a K and I bet 375 and he check-raised to 850. I thought and called because he's on air a ton and even if he has a made hand, he's rarely calling a jam with a worse one (kicker plays). He bet 1200 on the river and I called (I doubt there is much value in raising here); he mucked when I showed the ten.
I'm really annoyed at my bustout hand because I read the guy for having strength and moved in anyway (with bottom pair and a straight draw-- 64 on a Q754 board), because I basically decided "the pot's big and there's a chance I'm wrong and he folds." Wait, what? I'm putting in a lot of money into a big pot HOPING MY READ IS WRONG? I hope that sounds as ridiculous to you as it does to me. I won't do that again.
Tomorrow I'm playing the 1k deep stack at the Venetian-- assuming I get there on time to beat the enormous waiting list that was there yesterday. Should be good.
(Oh, and the guy had 86. Obviously. And bet the Q54 flop. Because he's a bad LAG. figures.)